If the eleven-minute preview of Sons of the Morning’s Speak Soon Vol. 1
revealed anything about the release, it was that listeners would be in for a beautifully psychedelic ride. The preview, which cobbled together samples from the EP and oddly-interspersed vintage video footage, ended up as a curiously enticing morsel of the downtempo brilliance that followed shortly after - wild, weird, and wonderful, the footage beautifully encapsulates exactly what makes the debut release from Sons of the Morning (a duo consisting of Prefuse 73 and Teebs) so enchanting. Speak Soon Vol. 1 is full to the brim with ambitious, dazzling ambient ideas, and it remains captivating through its 20-odd minute runtime.
The most striking feature of the EP is the countless layers of synth chords on every song. Take centerpiece “Sunday’s Buzzabout,” a wistful and wispy collision of beautifully discordant sounds which evoke images of meditative peace, wonderfully unkempt nature, and uninhibited bliss. The gradual ebb and flow of off-kilter chimes and the cry of the occasional vocal sample serve to highlight the precarious, atmospheric keyboards which fill the room with light and cautiously restrained volume. It’s the story of the whole release, really: Sons of the Morning balance tones and noise well on every track here, and it’s clear that every knob that could have been tweaked was exactly where the artists wanted it to be throughout the creative process. And though there are some admittedly questionable moments on the EP - the cheesy birdcalls on “A Dangerous Study Of Bird Life” come to mind - almost every risk taken here (and there are many) pays off. The abrupt transitions on the opening and closing tracks immerse the listener even more in the world of Sons of the Morning, the clanging bells of the one-minute “The Distance From Our Fears” separate the first and second halves succinctly, and even the bleepy first few seconds of “The Way That Wind Moves Pt. 2” make the heavy chord which follows that much sweeter.
What’s most important about the video preview of Speak Soon Vol. 1
, though, is that it shows a release absolutely full of life. Every one of the clips over the full eleven minutes is teeming with vibrancy and energy, and the music reflects the attitude of the film perfectly. The meandering synths and laid-back rhythms are gorgeous, and the EP flows beautifully. It’s a good sign that Sons of the Morning could produce such a quality product so soon, and Speak Soon Vol. 1
bodes well for the future of Prefuse 73’s collaborations to come.